By Houda Mzioudet,
Tripoli, 28 October 2013:
The management at Sharara oil field closed it yesterday evening because of security concerns after a . . .[restrict]number of locals from the nearby town of Obari staged a protest inside the field. The shutdown was advised by Petroleum Facilities Guards. However, this evening, its reopening with 24 hours was predicted by the oil minister Abdulbari Al-Arusi who flew to the field to discussion the issue with supervisors.
The field is run by Akakus Oil, the joint venture between Spain’s Repsol and the National Oil Corporation.
He has been reported by the Libyan news agency LANA saying that he had discussed plans to secure the field with the Defence and Interior Ministry as well as with the Petroleum Facilities Guard. Arousi used the occasion to warn of the consequences of interfering with Libya’s main source of income.
Earlier a local Tebu man from Obari, Youssef Ali, told the Libya Herald that the protesters were mostly Tuaregs from the nearby area of Wadi Al-Hayat. They were demanding that they be given National ID numbers as well as that their language of be given official status in the new constitution.
“They are protesting against the marginalisation of Obari,” he added. “They used force to close the oilfield,” he claimed, adding that they had gone to the oil field with heavy weapons.
“The head of security gave them a deadline of 24 hours to leave”, he stated. [/restrict]